4.16 kW, Saskatoon, SK 2015

How Solar Works

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Solar Energy

From the Sun to Your Home

Solar energy works by capturing the sun’s energy and turning it into electricity. The sun puts out an incredible amount of energy — its energy output in a single second is one million times greater than all of earth’s energy consumption in the year 2013! While we can’t use all those rays, we can turn your home, farm or business into a solar energy machine.

Understanding the basics of solar energy

For new or prospective solar customers, understanding solar power may seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert on solar power to reduce energy consumption and save money with these innovative solutions.

miEnergy is one of the most trusted solar power companies in Saskatchewan providing solar panels, photovoltaics installations and efficient energy conservation services. Our team of experts are happy to share our vast knowledge base to help our customers understand the basics and the details on how solar energy works.

How Solar Works (PDF)

Solar Video Series

Video 1: How to read your net metering bill

Once you have a solar system installed, the format of your electricity bill will change. In this video, we’ll walk you through understanding your new net metered power bill.

Video 2: Net Metering Explained

Net metering allows consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of when it is generated.

Video 3: How Solar Works

Solar PV (photovoltaic) cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity. They rely on the the photoelectric effect: the ability of matter to emit electrons when a light is shone on it.

The Components

There are four main components of a solar system that are used to convert sunlight into electricity. These are the essentials in any solar install.

  1. Solar Panels
    The hard work of converting sunlight into direct current (DC) sunlight is done by solar panels.
  2. Inverters
    After the solar panels convert sunlight into usable energy, this energy flows into the system’s inverters. Inverters convert the DC electricity to an alternating current (AC). This is the current or type of electricity that is used to bring energy to your space.
  3. Distribution Panel
    The AC flows from the inverter(s) to the distribution panel. The electricity then makes its way to the building to be used by you. Excess electricity can be sent to the utility grid to offer you a bill discount.
  4. Electric Meter
    The meter is used to measure the flow of electricity to and from the utility grid.

More common terms related to solar

Ground Mount vs Roof Mount

Your location will be the largest variable when choosing between a ground mount and a roof mount. Because they use your existing roof structure as a foundation, roof mounts are typically less expensive and take up less room on your property. While they do take up more space, ground mounts are easier to access for installation, maintenance and repair work. They also provide you with more control over the orientation of your array, making adjustments possible to maximize production. Here are a few of the differences:

G-Series: Ground Mount R-Series: Roof Mount
Applications Rural acreages and agriculture. Area where space is not an issue Urban and rural. Any structure with south facing roof exposure
Panel Types Silver frame 72 cell panels Black frame 60 cell panels
Racking Fence-less construction with 18-ft I-beams Rail-less racking with black front skirting
Inverter Type String inverter or micro-inverter String inverter or micro-inverter

Solar panels can handle all weather from clouds to snow - as long as there is light, your system will convert it to energy!